Move over “Irritating Stick”, we have a winner

There’s a game Kotaku have mentioned a few times now that’s piqued my interest. It’s a cartoon JRPG set to classical music by Chopin. As far as I can see, it appears to be about terminally ill kids who go to a fantasy world where they have magical powers to heal people. It’s called Eternal Sonata. (At the very least, that’s what they’re calling it here. In Japan, it’s called Trusty Bell of all things.)

There’s obviously a lot to like here – I love the whole concept behind the game, and the quirky bits I can see in the trailer (using an umbrella as a weapon? Fantastic!), and the fact that it’s not by Squaresoft (who’ve basically lost all credibility in my eyes at this stage). Still, I’ve got a horrible feeling that they’re going to make a mess of it. And I’m not just talking about that stupid giant wombat thing from the combat. I just half expect to discover that when it’s released that, oh, I dunno… that the English voice-acting’s been done by some awful C-Movie American actors who can barely read (like in Silent Hill), or that it’s badly translated and said bad actors actually say things like “For great justice!” (like in Silent Hill) or the whole game is a series of slime killing quests with progressively bigger slimes or… well, I don’t know. I just have a bad feeling about it. I’m not sure when I got so cynical about what used to be my favourite genre.

Well, right now it’s looking pretty neat. Pity I don’t have an Xbox 360 or have any plans to get one.

* 12 Comments

12 Comments so far

  1. Dan on April 28th, 2007

    I think the visuals in that game are really striking. It’s got a fairy tale feel like Peter Pan or pinocchio. One to look out for ๐Ÿ˜€

  2. Verious on April 28th, 2007

    1up.com has several screenshots of the English version of this game, which provides some hope of a decent translation.

    http://www.1up.com/do/slideshow?cId=3153768

  3. Josiah on April 29th, 2007

    Hmm, the graphics sort of remind me of Tales of Symphonia, just a bit. Mainly the characters.

    …Also… Please tell me there isn’t actually a game called ‘Irritating Stick?’ :p

    ~Josiah

  4. Terry on April 29th, 2007

    I think the visuals in that game are really striking. Itโ€™s got a fairy tale feel like Peter Pan or pinocchio. One to look out for ๐Ÿ˜€

    Yeah, they’ve clearly got the important things down – I just hope they do a good job on the details. On the other hand, it’s unlikely I’ll ever play it, so what do I care? ๐Ÿ˜€

    1up.com has several screenshots of the English version of this game, which provides some hope of a decent translation.

    Oh, thanks for that – it does look fairly readable. Hopefully they’ve got the voice actors to match – or at least an option to turn the voices off, heh.

    The names are sorta neat – “Beat” was a bit off-putting at first, but I like what they’re going for. “Polka” is a bit silly though. I’d have called her “Hornpipe“.

    โ€ฆAlsoโ€ฆ Please tell me there isnโ€™t actually a game called โ€˜Irritating Stick?โ€™ :p

    I Wish I could. (From the looks of that video, they probably should have called it “Irritating Dot” ๐Ÿ™‚

    Haven’t played Tales of Symphonia, I’m afraid…

  5. Josiah Tobin on May 2nd, 2007

    Wow. I’m gonna have to watch that movie now… Irritating stick… *snrk*

    As for Tales of Symphonia: I was playing it awhile back, it was quite good. For some reason I sorta neglected it though, and ended up dropping it halfway through the game. Er, I guess much less than halfway through actually, given the apparently rather lengthy play time of the game.

    The main thing I remember are the voices: Perfectly well-acted, and they add a nice touch to the cutscenes, but… In battle, every time a character attacks, casts, uses an item (or gets an item used on him/her for that matter) etc, there’s a voice clip. So basically, battles become a muddled mess of yells, shouts, grunts, and random phrases like “Don’t overdo it!” — Oh, and the name of every special attack. You can turn the battle voices off, but for some reason I liked to leave them on. There was something oddly hypnotic about it, I think. :p

    One cool thing was the characters saying their victory lines after a battle, though. Sometimes another character will chide someone for saying something particularly cocky, or respond in a humorous manner, etc.

    Hmm, maybe I oughtta get that game out again…

    ~Josiah

  6. Terry on May 4th, 2007

    Tales of Symphonia, Grandia, Xenogears, Parasite Eve and the Star Ocean games are all somewhere on my to play list, but they’re pretty far down ๐Ÿ˜€

  7. Josiah Tobin on May 5th, 2007

    You’d better move Xenogears up on that list. The last section of disc 1 was one of the best chunks of any RPG I’ve played.

    …Of course, disc 2 is the unquestionable definition of ‘rushed’ when it comes to games. Entire dungeons are left out and instead the characters sit around in chairs basically saying “and then we went here… And then we did this… And then we fought this guy– *boss battle* …And then we went here…” etc. There’s pretty much no context on any of the small gameplay segments and the whole thing falls apart. I never finished it.

    Uh, but yeah. Disc 1 is fantastic. :p

    ~Josiah

  8. Terry on May 5th, 2007

    Alright then, I will ๐Ÿ™‚

    The big reason I haven’t gotten around to playing Xenogears is that to actually play it is a lot of work – it wasn’t released over here, so I’d need a US Playstation before I could even play it properly. I did eventually find an image of the CD and it got it working on an emulator, but it was really slow and the sound skipped in it – plus the videos were off sync. And that was on my old, good desktop PC that I’ve now sold…

    Guess I could have still tried to play it, but the first half an hour of it that I did play didn’t really grip me at all. It just seemed really badly written – and I found the whole 2D sprites on a 3D background thing really offputting (though maybe that was just the emulator).

    I’m sure it must get better as it goes on (people rave about it, after all), but there are other games that I want to check out first ๐Ÿ˜€

  9. Josiah Tobin on May 5th, 2007

    Yeah, the game is very rough in a lot of areas, but (I found at least) it really grows on you and does get much better as it goes on. The first parts can be bland, but as I said, the last section of the first disc is amazing.

    I played it with a PS emulator, and it took a hell of a lot to get it all working properly. Had to really mess around with the video to make some scenes/effects not mess everything up, and of course there’s a part halfway through that you have to use some weird trick (forgot what it is now) to keep it from freezing completely. It’s probably a much better idea to play it on an actual console, yeah. :p

    I suppose part of why people rave about the game may be its ‘cult classic’ status, and the fact that the story only really picks up momentum near the end of disc 1 may deter some players. If you ever do get a chance to play it, I’d definitely recommend sticking with it for a little while at least, though I definitely understand the priority of other games. I have about seven different games I’ve been meaning to play for awhile now (Tiberian Sun Firestorm, C&C3, Phoenix Wright 2, Trace Memory, Contact, and Super Paper Mario), and it’s extremely difficult to set priorities for all of them. :p

    ~Josiah

  10. Terry on May 5th, 2007

    I think I can help there:

    (1) Phoenix Wright 2
    (2) The other games

  11. Josiah Tobin on May 6th, 2007

    Haha, I’ll try to kick my current C&C3 addiction and pick up PW2 again, then. :p

    ~Josiah

  12. Terry on May 6th, 2007

    Great!

    It’s admittedly weaker than the first game – until the last case, that is ๐Ÿ™‚

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